It was a Wednesday morning and I stood in front of the mirror completely naked while getting ready for work. It was easy for me to look at myself and say, ‘these pants used to fall down on me’ while I did a little dance to squeeze them up over my butt, just to have my tummy then ooze over the waistband. It was easy for me to dwell on the fact that I found cellulite on my shoulders of all places the night before mid-stretch. It was easy to think to myself, my thighs have rekindled their friendship, never leaving each other’s side these days. It is easy to remember that once upon a time my boobs were three sizes smaller, and at other times two sizes bigger. It is easy for anyone to say, I need to lose weight. It is easy for anyone to think, I want her or his, this or that. It is easy to convince yourself that physical beauty is the bane of our existence, and therefore judge and appreciate yourself and others based on this.
It’s the easiest of them all to compare yourself to others and even easier to compare yourself to you, at another time in your life. Most people would have been criticizing themselves on this exact Wednesday, and maybe every other day in that mirror, but why?
If you asked all of your friends and family what they liked or loved about you, do you think any of their #1 reason would be a fine ass bubble butt? Or any of their top 10 reasons for that matter? Think about it. And if that is their answer… you really need to rethink the significance of having that individual in your life. No one genuinely worthy of your time will criticize you, put you down or especially make you criticize yourself. No one.
If you don’t believe me, or maybe unsure of your real traits, I challenge you to ask the people around you. Learn to love these positive characteristics and take ownership of them, they will over time if not already counteract any negative insecurities that you put on yourself. If you’re feeling extra chatty, go ahead and ask them what they may dislike about you just for arguments sake, I guarantee only shallow unworthy people will pick at a physical flaw you see and obsess over in that mirror.
Insecurity- ‘uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.’
I know we are constantly reminded that ‘loving yourself’ can be a negative trait. Those ‘cocky’ or ‘up themselves’ people are ridiculed especially in our social media world. Loving yourself is a strong tool when used correctly, however it has the potential to be easily misinterpreted as arrogance.
Recently I was having a typical Melbourne style hipster brunch with a girlfriend, when we had a conversation that got me thinking. We had a slight debate over popular gorgeous and successful Australian model which I began to dwell on afterwards. My friend argued that this model loved herself TOO much by ‘showing off’ on social media and it annoyed her that by doing this she is attempting to try and encourage girls to feel better in their own bodies. It was then I realized, some may call her cocky and some say she’s confident, but it all depends on how you perceive it. Each individual perceives things differently, are you envious of her lifestyle or jealous of her body, etc? Or are you inspired by her efforts to express self-love and influence and encourage young women to do the same? Her ridiculously good looks lead the insecure girls of the world to steer more towards envy and jealousy towards this role model. If more young women were confident and loving themselves as she does, they may be more supportive and understanding of her efforts. If this model was perhaps not the ‘perfect inspo’ the media puts into our heads, do you think young women would still criticize her for ‘loving herself’? Is it because of the pressures we feel from our own insecurities that then fuels jealousy and makes us resentful, even when sometimes all these role models are doing is trying to positively influence our community? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, those in the spotlight have lots of responsibility especially to vulnerable and insecure youth. I think our society respects role models that are more relatable, and maybe not the media’s ‘perfect inspo’ however don’t confuse those who love themselves solely and encourage others to follow, with arrogance.
Again, also easy peasy for us to say ‘of course she’s happy with herself look at her! If I had those abs blah blah blah’. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.
What about you? What do you have to offer? I can guarantee it is more than you give yourself credit for.
I am constantly surrounded by beautiful women (inside and out), friends, family, clients, colleagues, all criticizing themselves over physical attributes, I used to be one of them myself (yes I just called myself beautiful). It all comes back to our bestie, insecurity. I am here to tell you, you can beat it. I’ve done it. It wasn’t by transforming my body to make the picture perfect figure we all wish we ‘could woulda shoulda’. I didn’t need to search for attention or approval from others to make me feel whole. I confess it may have taken an expensive trip to Scandinavia and Europe to finally kick me in the ass but I’ve done it. It is all in your head, that powerful little thing. I finally stepped back and realized I am more than a physical being. I have more to offer than a mad jump score from my huge baller calves, or a twerk that could kill from my big ass butt. Life is too short to stress or worry about how others perceive you, those who matter will always love you for you.
You may also think it’s easy for an extrovert like me to say ‘be confident!’ with the wave of a wand. Those who have read ‘Obsessed’ know I have put my body and mind through a tumble dryer the last few years. I know EXACTLY what you’re thinking, I know you WANT ripped abs, feel like you NEED toned arms and for me it was once of course slim calves. I know it seems near impossible and you feel so determined but I cannot stress this enough, happiness should always come first. If you are feeling insecure or unhappy within yourself, ask yourself why. It is a harsh world out there with enough haters, don’t join them by hating on yourself. A healthy lifestyle is one thing, a gym junkie hobbie is another, but don’t stop questioning your own mind set and what is fueling these lifestyle choices. I still love my veggies, sweet potato mash and of course F45, however prioritizing my mind and loving myself has given a whole new meaning to these lifestyle choices of mine.
I think I have finally found and will continue to build, my own happy place. It is a place where I am surrounded by friends and family who love me, for me. Humans have a lot more to offer than you expect. However to look past this and begin to accept others you must start by accepting yourself. As soon as you start believing and respecting your own self-worth, the world will follow. Your personality will always shine through, all you need to do is trust and believe in the value of you. Which is far beyond a couple stretch marks or an extra chin or two.
‘I am not impressed by beauty anymore. It is not difficult or extraordinary to turn someone on. However, if you have the ability to inspire me, if you have the ability to stimulate my mind and stir my thoughts – well, that makes you magic.’ – Bianca Sparacino
Now go and love yourself and keep doing you – I promise you’re even better than you think.
Love Emdee xxxxx
– Lessons only travel can teach you
– You’re welcome, my travel mistakes.